Buzz + Ideas

Commentary + Concepts

Go back to school

Ross Rant March 2018.png

One of the best thought leader, low hanging fruit techniques is to get reconnected to your school - be it high school, college, or graduate. 

You need your schools.

Over the last few days, I have been down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina attending alumni weekend festivities for the Kenan-Flagler Business School. I was fortunate to be asked to speak with two marketing classes of current students on the intersection of the retail sector and public policy as well as lead a lecture on retail disruption for the alumni back on campus. You can see the decks here: retail politics and retail disruption.

Talking with students as they are about to embark on their careers is a fantastic opportunity. To answer their questions and share your experience I find to be a most wonderful exchange for all involved. Also, you need to be on your game as your audience has immediate access to the WWW to challenge your ideas in real-time, or worse, you are white noise as they tune you out, so they update their Pinterest pages.

Speaking with the alumni, be it 2017 MBA graduates not even 365 days out of college, or older students who departed the school in the 80s, 70s, and even 60s can't be beaten as a venue to present your ideas. This type of cross-generation audience fosters an exchange of experience and knowledge that is a challenge to replicate on a daily workday.

As you think about upping your thought leadership game as a means to improve your experience and knowledge, think about going back to school. Reach out to that alumni director, speak with a former teacher, or find conference taking place on campus.

The ability to share ideas, speak with students, engage alumni from decades past in a safe and friendly environment is a powerful tool that will help you expand your thought leader capabilities.